How To Properly Defrost Frozen Water Pipes

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Defrosting water pipes can be a difficult process, and you need to hope that the pipes haven’t burst during the last cold freeze. This can be hard to confirm without professional help, but the good news is that while defrosting frozen water pipes is a very delicate process that needs to be handled carefully, lest you damage the pipes yourself by un-thawing them the wrong way, but it is possible. You’ll want to follow the outlined steps to fix your plumbing. Frozen pipes are nothing to mess with.

First things first, it’s important to turn off the main water switch at the well pump and/or pump house before you disconnect the water pipe attached to the house.

You’ll need a garden hose that you can use. Place it in the pipe right to the point where the pipe was frozen. This hose should not be attached to a water source – this is a mistake that could bust up the pipe, so don’t do it! What you want to do is use an air mattress foot pump to push the unfrozen water out of the pipe. You need all that water to be removed before proceeding with removing the ice safely.

Tape the hose to the end of a funnel. If you don’t have a funnel, you can make one with a two liter bottle by cutting off the bottom and taping the house around the neck of the bottle. With the other end of the hose in the pipe by the ice, you now take water you’re boiling on the stove or over a fire, and funnel it down the hose, where it will hit the ice within the pipe.

Try doing this multiple times if need be. The water will be hot enough to melt the edge of the ice without cracking or causing sudden expansion. Eventually enough around the edges will be melted that the ice will slide out completely. Once this is done, place one more bottle of hot water down the pipe, turning the pipe to make sure there are no cracks or leaks.

That’s all it takes. As long as the pipe is crack-free, you’re ready to put it back into place and begin pumping water back into your home.

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